Introduction: How to Build a Huge Water Rocket

Picture of How to Build a Huge Water Rocket

Do you want to build your own, two meter large water rocket?

In this tutorial we'll explain everything you need to know about it!

We'll not only show you how to build the pressure vessel, but also show you the construction of the parachute mechanism and a suitable launch pad.

The tutorial is split in five steps:
Step 1) Construction of the pressure vessel segments
Step 2) Construction of the launcher and the nozzle
Step 3) Pressure test and assembly of the pressure vessel
Step 4) Construction of the parachute mechanism (Phoenix 5)
Step 5) Preparations, safety aspects and launch

Additional: Step 6) A list of all materials you need


Be careful with adhesive based on polyurethane. Always wear gloves when working with it, and let it dry outside. Pressurized water rockets are dangerous. Keep distance to it and make sure there are no animals or walkers nearby.

Step 1: Construction of the Pressure Vessel Segments

In the first part of this tutorial we will show you the construction of the pressure vessel segments.
For the best results, you will need to use a single type of bottle for the entire rocket. We recommend that you find narrow bottles with straight sides. Bottles with textures or patterns molded into the sides are not well suited for this type of rocket. To simplify the construction of the rocket, we will make the rocket in three short pressure vessel segments, which we will connect together later. To glue the bottles together we use an adhesive based on polyurethane. We recommend PL Premium Construction Adhesive, but there are thousands of different adhesives you can try if you prefer to use something else.

Step 2: Construction of the Launcher and the Nozzle

In the second part of this tutorial we will show you the construction of the launcher and the nozzle.
The launcher is a simplified version, built from three components: the stand, the gardena system, and the trigger.
The stand can easily be made of wooden planks.You should drill some small holes so that you can anchor the launcher to the ground. If you want the launcher to last for a long time, you should paint it to make it waterproof.
The nozzle is made of a Gardena tap nut adapter, into which is glued a bottle-cap with epoxy resin.

Step 3: Pressure Test and Assembly of the Pressure Vessel

In the third part of this tutorial we will show you how you can pressure test your segments and the assembly of the pressure vessel. For the pressure test, the segment should almost completely filled with water. Screw the nozzle onto one side of the segment, and on the other end a bottle cap. The test should always be performed outdoors behind a barrier, so that in the event of an explosion no one gets hurt. Once you are ready, you can start increasing the air pressure using the hose system of your rocket launcher. We currently test our segments to 130 PSI. An optional Gardena Regulator Valve allows the pressure to be released after a successful test,
but you can also use your tire valve for this purpose. If all of your segments and the nozzle have passed the pressure test, you can connect the individual segments with connectors called Tornado Tubes.

Step 4: Construction of the Parachute Mechanism

In the fourth part of this tutorial we will show you the construction of the parachute mechanism.
The outer shell of the parachute deploy system consists of a bottle, the same type used for the pressure vessel segments. Two round plates made of the same material as the fins are glued into the housing using a hot glue gun. The shaft of the Tommy Timer is bend at the middle with two pairs of pliers. After the paint has dried, you can attach the timer to the housing by means of a cable tie.

Step 5: Preparations, Safety Aspects and Launch

In the fifth and last part of this tutorial we will show you the launch and explain the preparations.
Selection of your launch site:
-empty fields or meadows
-far away from houses, streets, trees or electrical wires
-In some cases you will need a permission of a competent authority

Take into account the weather:
-Don't launch in strong winds
-Don't launch in thunderstorms
-A few drops water from above have never hurt a water rocket

Safety aspects:
-Safety glasses are a must
-Keep distance to the pressurized rocket
-Keep an eye on walkers, children and animals

Step 6: Bill of Materials

Here you'll find a list of all materials we've used for our water rocket.

Step 1: Construction of the pressure vessel segments

  • 6 Bottles (no patterns, straight sides)
  • adhesive based on polyurethane (for example PL Premium by Loctite)

Step 2: Construction of the launcher and the nozzle

Step 3: Pressure test and assembly

6 Bottles (no patterns, straight sides)

3 "Tornado Tubes"

Plastic plate

(Optional) spray paint

Air pump

Step 4:Construction of the parachute mechanism

2 Bottles (no patterns, straight sides)

1 Bottle (thin-walled)

Wind-up-toy (Tommy Timer)


Table tennis ball

Rubber band

Cable tie

Parachute (buy or build one)

Step 5: Preparations and launch



hquirk1 (author)2016-08-30

will this fly with 75psi?

shambuda2000 (author)2015-06-06

Excellent instructable! Congratulations on being selected as a finalist! Viel Glück!

Thank you :)

Kammarah made it! (author)2015-05-25

Great system - I love this "click" and
everything is connected. And for the rest, epoxy is great. For the
release I used three cable ties, cord and an angle joint. Another two
cable ties attached to the angle prevents the cord from fraying. After
screwing and unscrewing the rocket tail 20 times it came to my mind to
construct a "Waterrocket Ffilling Station". Click - fill - click -
launch - super easy and super easy to use, even for our kids. You have
my vote.

Here is my "Waterrocket Filling Station"

Thanks a lot! :)

Your filling station looks nice and great for small rockets!

We have a filling system attached on our launcher, which automatically fills the water into the rocket.



I was wondering how you fill these giant rockets, but now I know! :-) And thank you too!

oneofakind3 (author)2015-05-21

You got my vote!!!

Thank you :)

studleylee (author)2015-05-20

I didn't think that a water rocket could be so cool. You changed that!!!

Uber-Ingenuous timer mechanism for chute!!

Great to hear that you're liking our tutorial!

There are a lot more videos about water rockets on our YouTube channel:

krummrey (author)2015-05-20

Hope you take the prize away. ;)

Thank you for the nice words and thank you for the hint. :)

jnekrasov (author)2015-05-19

Can you explain a bit how did you attach your camera to the rocket? and what model of camera did you use?

We currently use the DVR #808 #16 V3 with wide angle lens for onboard footage.
In the video embedded above we used the "FlyCamOne HD", but our new camera is a lot better. We simply attach the camera with a piece of duct tape. this works perfectly fine.

Everything impossible (author)2015-05-19

Can you use this to launch fireworks?

I wouldn't recommend that. ;)

Konstantin Dimitrov (author)2015-05-18

I like the water rockets, because they are easy to make, all you need is few water bottles and pure knowledge of aerodinamics.

Yes, we really like this hobby because everything is made of everyday materials. :)

Yeah, I think to build one this summer, I have the materials but not and the free time :)

correction - poor not pure ^

banman11 (author)2015-05-19

Brilliant. Well done...

What sort of pressures are you achieving with fiberglass reinforcing and are you using more exotic materials like carbon fiber ?

Hello banman11, thank you. :)

With fiberglass or carbon fiber reinforcement you can launch at about 230psi, but you can also try to use more layers to increase the stability of the vessel even more.

Tumunga (author)2015-05-19

The accent...I love it!! Hammer down, sir!

Crusader68 (author)2015-05-19

Great job! The best part is that no pyro is used, so DHS doesn't come kicking your door down.

MarcusN1 (author)Crusader682015-05-19

That's always great but why are we, as a people willing to accept an agency that might "kick our door's down" for being model rocket hobbyists? Robert Goddard himself probably would have been shot dead by the police state before he could perfect his liquid fuel rockets. The goal should not be little work around's but the complete abolition of the agencies.

We are willing to accept regulating agencies for general safety; someone with information but no safety context (say, someone who gets plans to build a solid fuel rocket from an Instructional website) and starts experimenting big with no sense of scale or foundation poses a danger to those around them. There are a lot more giant's shoulders to stand on every day, and it is tempting to start at the big and flashy. Specific agencies are better trained to evaluate what is actually a danger, instead of a general enforcement figure that may or may not have context for evaluating risk. Abolishing oversight is, at best, hoping that the combined fiddling of humanity doesn't do something stupid.

Haha, that's definitely a big advantage. :)

RaketfuedRockets (author)2015-05-19

Update: I added a bill of materials!

Thank you all for your nice words :)

pculbert (author)2015-05-19

Awesome! Can't wait to try this with my boys! The way you join the bottles is genius! Thanks so much for sharing!

Thanks! Good luck :)

sitearm (author)2015-05-19

Video of it launching and recovering?

RaketfuedRockets (author)sitearm2015-05-19

Please watch the video of step 5:

If you want to see more water rocket Launch videos, please check out our YouTube channel:

sitearm (author)RaketfuedRockets2015-05-19

Ah... Very nice video and production quality!

RaketfuedRockets (author)sitearm2015-05-19

Thank you =)

Kiteman (author)2015-05-18

Wow - what sort of altitude do you get to?

RaketfuedRockets (author)Kiteman2015-05-19

If you launch at about 130 psi there is a good chance to reach 300 feet.

If you're interested to optimize the altitude of the water rocket, I would suggest you to reinforce the rocket with fiberglass. With such an reinforcement you can use much more pressure, about 230 psi. But please be carefull if you pressurize the rocket.

Check out our YouTube-channel to learn more about water rocketry:



Kiteman (author)RaketfuedRockets2015-05-19

Thank you!

hol640alb (author)2015-05-19

I teach science in school to 12-year olds. When we study pressure we make a smaller rocket, and much simpler. It's just a regular bottle and a bottle cap which is trimmed off so that only one turn of the threading is left, then we drill a hole in the cap an place a bicycle valve or a needle valve in the hole. About half of the bottle is filled with water and then we let the kids pump up the pressure. It is a very good way of making kids realise how much force there is in compressed air when you let them do this. Then they just unscrew the cap and well, mother nature takes care of the rest. Of Course we do have safety measures though.

Kasseanova (author)2015-05-18

Echt cool geworden, dann weiss ich ja, was ich im Sommer zu tun haben werde :D danke dafür.

Danke, viel Erfolg beim Bauen! Wenn du fragen hast kannst du dich jederzeit melden.


Julian vom Raketfued-Team

Colin McLain (author)2015-05-18

I tried making one of these years ago but it never happend... :( But thatnks for sharing this! :D

I'm glad you like it. :)

Iron Skull 8903 (author)2015-05-17

AWESOME! do u have to have a license to fly it?

Well it depends on where you live.

In Germany it depends on how near you're to the next airport as well as the maximum weight of the rocket and the expected altitude. But basically there is no license needed. :)

OK cause i live in america and was just checking, i am building this as a project for my school science fair next year. I will make sure to give u full credit!

ElvinS (author)Iron Skull 89032015-05-17


Kutluhan (author)2015-05-17

Awesome project. I didn't see a huge one like that before. Thank you!

Thanks a lot for your nice words. :)

seamster (author)2015-05-17

This is excellent! Thank you for sharing this great tutorial.

I've always wondered how to make a parachute ejection system for a rocket like this. Your design looks perfect! Very well done!

Thanks a lot seamster!

About This Instructable




Bio: We're a small group of students and we have been building water rockets since 2011.
More by RaketfuedRockets:Let's Build a Water Rocket That Can Fly 1000 Feet High!How to build a simple water rocketHow to build a huge water rocket
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